Music

FILE - In this May 11, 2013 file photo, Aretha Franklin performs during McDonald's Gospelfest 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Franklin will not be attending a baseball luncheon during which she was to receive an honor for contributions to civil rights. Franklin, 71, has already canceled several concerts recently because of undisclosed health reasons. In a statement issued Monday, Aug. 19, by Major League Baseball, the Grammy-winning singer referred to ongoing "treatment" that prevented her from traveling.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Still Commanding ‘Respect’

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Aretha Franklin is riding on the freeway, or maybe it’s just I-70, on her way home to Detroit from Washington, D.C. She was in the nation’s capital to play for the president at the White House, but that’s old hat to her. She played for President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton, and it was President George W. Bush who …

Brian Wilson Reunites With Al Jardine

Sunday, April 26, 2015

New York — While Brian Wilson doesn’t plan to officially reunite with the surviving members of the Beach Boys, having an old friend sing on a new record certainly provided a comfort zone. Former bandmate Al Jardine, who sang lead vocals on Wilson’s 1965 chart-topping single Help Me, Rhonda, appears on a few …

‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ Has Staying Power

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The great Percy Sledge record When a Man Loves a Woman was released 49 years ago on Thursday. Credited to songwriters Andrew Wright and Calvin Lewis, it was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Ala., and featured some of the era’s great R&B instrumentalists. It was the only song the two …

Song Leak May Help Madonna

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The year-end surprise album release is becoming a holiday tradition. First, Beyonce, then D’Angelo: Each of them released recordings that came out of nowhere to capture the pop imagination just in time for the New Year. But what …

The Passion of Joe Cocker

Friday, December 26, 2014

A few years ago we were watching a televised concert series, when the voice on the stage suddenly thundered through the TV speakers. In the flesh, with gravel and grit, Joe Cocker was live and spouting the blues. …

Meryl Streep Sings Sondheim, and Finds Her Own Voice

Friday, December 26, 2014

New York — Meryl Streep sings. Her fans know this. Meryl Streep sang in Postcards From the Edge, in Ironweed, on the children’s album Philadelphia Chickens and, of course, in Mamma Mia, the movie that improbably, given all …

Dr. Burma: One Last Chance

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No more staying out late for me No more narrow escapes for me I’ve reached the, I’ve reached the turning point in my life — from Turning Point, by Tyrone Davis About 20 minutes shy of showtime, Dr. …

Tower Records Store Still Standing in Tokyo

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tokyo — In 2006, the Great American Group, no great American, won the right in court to liquidate the bankrupt Tower Records, despite other bidders who hoped to salvage the record business. For much of the U.S. — …

Two Banjos Are Better Than One

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, two banjo players equally respected in the different corners of the Americana music world, got married in 2010 and last year became first-time parents with the arrival of their son, Juno. Suddenly they …

Three-Part Harmony

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Even now, Peter, Paul and Mary can’t be stopped. During the early ’60s folk boom, their entwined harmonies seemed to be a part of every progressive rally, and since then, they have gained new generations of fans through …

Sam Smith, Beyonce Lead Grammys

Saturday, December 6, 2014

New York — British newcomer Sam Smith and Beyonce — the most nominated woman in Grammy history — are the current leaders at the Grammy Awards with five each. Smith and Beyonce were likely to earn nominations for …

‘Peter Pan Live!’ Flies Clear of Disaster Critics Longed to See

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Take that, haters: NBC’s Peter Pan Live! did not provide nearly the fodder you so voraciously anticipated. The show went off Thursday night without any major hitch or clunky notes — and was far more entertaining and certainly more endurable than its zombie predecessor, last year’s The Sound …

Forever Young, NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’ Is Live and Aloft

Thursday, December 4, 2014

New York — The boy who refused to grow up: It sounds like men today in this youth-obsessed culture. But nearly a century before his name found its way into pop psychology, Peter Pan was born as the …